From Syracuse, New York, comes the dark and aggressive metal band, BLEAK. They have that […]
By Megan McMillan
April 3, 2015
Bleak - Bleak album cover

From Syracuse, New York, comes the dark and aggressive metal band, BLEAK. They have that rowdy, rebellious attitude going on that bands from New York are known for. Even heavy metal super stars ANTHRAX. But as much as I love ANTHRAX, BLEAK's brutally heavy sound make the thrash super stars look like NICKELBACK.

Their five track EP is one of the most confrontational black metal efforts around. The album is like a kiss; short, sweet and loaded with passion. You can seriously tell the band's passion for heavy music here and the hate that is perpetuated in the brutality of the guitars further enhances the anger. A lot of times a band needs to show diversity in their work, yet because of the EP's length, it doesn't matter and all you want is to experience that monstrously heavy sound the band offer, however. While there may not be experimentation with genres, there is an experimentation of sound, particularly in the track "Resplendent Repression" that plays with all the cool technical aspects of electric guitar. Showing the true force of the instrument.

BEAK's self-titled EP definitely has a lot of impact. Not only from the crunchiness of the guitars and the deep breakdowns, but just from the raw, underground sound. That's what makes this effort so rowdy. The recording quality is far from perfect, with lots of sound bugs, but it works and gives the band an authentic edginess that a lot of mainstream black metal bands fail to obtain due to pristine production. That's not the point! Metal is supposed to be realistic, gritty and in your face. "Outflanked" and "Simple" are by far the best tracks on the record, with the most solid chord progression, impressive screams and machine gun drums that are so intense, they make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

While BLEAK may be able to keep listeners impact with this EP, I'm not sure if their sound would keep audiences engaged long enough for a full length EP. They need to come up with something more to give themselves originality, which they definitely lack. If they want to make it big and keep themselves out of the underground then they need to dig deeper into the evil side of black/doom metal and find something to give the band a separate identity. I find that bands that make it big in the black metal have this. Ultimately, this EP is a good effort, but not anything ground breaking. 

6 / 10

Had Potential

"Bleak" Track-listing:

1. Missive
2. Simple
3. Bridge Burner
4. Resplendent Repression
5. Outflanked

Bleak Lineup:

TJ - Guitars
Skot - Vocals
Matt - Bass
Nick - Drums

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